packing for little people

Sigh.  I remember a time when all I needed on any trip would fit in one of those beautiful small wheely suitcases.  I’d pack a few hours before, swing all my belongings effortlessly into a cab, run into the airport, stand in virtually no security line, and ease into my airplane seat.  And then a few minutes later, a nice stewardess would serve me free drinks and food.

Am I dreaming or did I see that in a movie somewhere?  I swear it happened.

We are leaving tomorrow for a road trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania for the Fourth of July weekend and I’ve barely started packing for our family of four.  That’s not like me. I usually start packing days ahead of time.  But at this point I’d rather dream of someone else doing the packing while I sip my coffee.

For me, traveling is an exciting adventure.  But one of the things that makes it a nerve-wracking and anxiety-wrenching activity is packing for the girls.  All the crap they need befuddles me – the double amount of clothes, the diapers, the wipes, the toys, the snacks (C. is a walking eating machine).  And then the complete unpredictability of their nature (did I mention my princesses were actually cavemen in disguise?)  I used to try to pack for every possible scenario – and then when the TSA patted J. down for a sippy cup with apple juice I just HAD to have, I decided that I probably could get by with a bit less.  Lets be real – I was being neurotic.

So when it comes to packing for our family for any travels, I stick to some basic rules:

1) You can never have enough underwear and/or diapers.  Really, this needs no explanation.

2) You can never have enough dry food. Sure; I’m all for trying experiencing new food in different places but there is something great about always having a reliable graham cracker nearby in case of a toddler meltdown.

3) Apps are your friend.  I download a few new ones every time we travel.  Yes, I’m that mom whose preschooler has taken over her iPad.  Go ahead, judge me.  I also bought these toddler headphones and my 4 year old freaks out when she gets to wear them.  We can sit her next to complete strangers as long as she gets to wear her headphones and watch a movie.

4) Be selfish. Always pack a magazine for myself; on that very slim off chance I may get 4.5 seconds to read something I most certainly don’t want it to be the in-flight magazine.

And unless I am going backpacking in the middle of nowhere (and that certainly doesn’t sound like something I would do) – there are going to be stores where I can buy things.  Like extra clothes.  Or A.’s favorite sippy fruit snack.  Or the soundtrack of Frozen theyjusthadtohave.

So I guess can relax.  And leave the packing until, well, a few hours before.  Now I’m going to have another cup of coffee and pick out my magazine.

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3 thoughts on “packing for little people

  1. Two things I’d add. One: I only pack four sets of clothes for day and night each. On day 3, I do a cold load, not sorting. Having fewer outfits to organize and keep up with is so freeing it makes me want to get rid of the months worth of clothes the kids needlessly have hanging in their closet. Seriously! Two: the munchie mug. Made in the USA, BPA free, dishwasher safe, large capacity snack reservoir to accommodate all the dry food you’ve packed. We have 4 or 5 in rotation for our two kiddos. That first munchie mug is 4.5 years old and still a workhorse. Love them… Happy travels!

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